Mgm1p, a dynamin-related GTPase, is essential for fusion of the mitochondrial outer membrane

Hiromi Sesaki, Sheryl M. Southard, Michael P. Yaffe, Robert E. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mitochondrial fusion requires at least two outer membrane proteins, Fzo1p and Ugo1p. We provide direct evidence that the dynamin-related Mgm1 protein is also required for mitochondrial fusion. Like fzo1 and ugo1 mutants, cells disrupted for the MGM1 gene contain numerous mitochondrial fragments instead of the few long, tubular organelles seen in wild-type cells. Fragmentation of mitochondria in mgm1 mutants is rescued by disrupting DNM1, a gene required for mitochondrial division. In zygotes formed by mating mgm1 mutants, mitochondria do not fuse and mix their contents. Introducing mutations in the GTPase domain of Mgm1p completely block mitochondrial fusion. Furthermore, we show that mgm1 mutants fail to fuse both their mitochondrial outer and inner membranes. Electron microscopy demonstrates that although mgm1 mutants display aberrant mitochondrial inner membrane cristae, mgm1 dnm1 double mutants restore normal inner membrane structures. However, mgm1 dnm1 mutants remain defective in mitochondrial fusion, indicating that mitochondrial fusion requires Mgm1p regardless of the morphology of mitochondria. Finally, we find that Mgm1p, Fzo1p, and Ugo1p physically interact in the mitochondrial outer membrane. Our results raise the possibility that Mgm1p regulates fusion of the mitochondrial outer membrane through its interactions with Fzo1p and Ugo1p.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2342-2356
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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